YALI East Africa Regional Leadership Cohorts 55 and 56 Program

Deadline : 1st of March, 2024 (5:00 pm EAT)

Former US President Barack Obama founded the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) to support emerging African leaders. Statistics show that roughly one-third of Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and 60% of the population is under the age of 35, emphasizing the importance of developing strong, results-oriented leaders.

The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, based at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, serves 14 countries in East and Central Africa: Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Center is overseen by Deloitte East Africa and is supported by a growing number of African and international partners.

Selected participants will engage in leadership training across three tracks of study: (1) Business and Entrepreneurship, (2) Civic Leadership, and (3) Public Management in a 4-week residential format with a focus on individual and team leadership skills, innovation, creative learning, and communication. The program’s emphasis is on interactive and experiential learning which fosters each participant’s ability to contribute both individually and in teams.


YALI RLC EA has also introduced online learning. The COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted life globally and with that, our program calendar. It is uncertain how the COVID-19 situation will pan out for us to continue running our residential cohorts. However, to ensure we progress with our mandate of empowering young people, the Center is carrying out an online cohort where we will have the opportunity to enrol more participants (more than 100 per cohort) meaning even more of our target demographics will get an opportunity at having the YALI RLC EA experience. The online platform is user friendly and accessible via mobile phone. The inaugural online cohort with 250 participants began on May 18, 2020


Competition for the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa is merit-based and open to young East African leaders who meet the following criteria:

  • Are 18 to 35 years of age at the time of application submission,
  • Are citizens and residents of one of the following countries: Burundi, Central African Republic. Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda,
  • Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Are eligible to receive any necessary visa to Kenya, and
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, listening and speaking English.

Selection Criteria:

Selection for participation in the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa will be conducted as a merit-based, open competition. All eligible applications will be reviewed by a selection panel. Chosen semi-finalists will then be interviewed before a final selection is made and an invitation to join the program is issued.

Selection panels will use the following criteria to evaluate applications:

  • A demonstrated leadership in public service, business and entrepreneurship, or civic engagement.
  • Active engagement in public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship.
  • The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and respect the opinions of others.
  • Strong social and communication skills.
  • An energetic, positive attitude.
  • A demonstrated knowledge, interest, and professional experience in the sector/track selected, and
  • A commitment to apply leadership skills and training to benefit your country and/or community after the program.

Click here to apply 

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